What is Banned Under Georgia’s New Hands-Free Law?
GEORGIA – June 4, 2018 (wsbtv.com) An article from wsbtv.com outlines the activities prohibited and allowed under the new Hands-Free Law in the state of Georgia.
Georgia’s new Hands-Free Law will go into effect on July 1. With limited time remaining before the law goes into effect, Georgia drivers should read up on the activities they will and will not be able to perform while driving after July 1.
The law’s co-author, Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta, says one of the biggest misconceptions about the law is that drivers will not be able to use their cell phones at all. Drivers can still use their phones in the car, but they cannot physically hold or cradle the phones. Aside from making emergency calls, drivers can only use their phones in hands-free mode.
What is hands-free mode? Legal, hands-free uses of cell phones after July 1 will include Bluetooth connections, single-ear headphones or earbuds, and voice-to-text features. Essentially, drivers can still use their phones while driving if they have technology that allows them to use their phones without holding them or continuously hitting buttons. Even in hands-free mode, drivers cannot use their phones if they have to swipe more than once or push more than one button to answer calls or send messages.
In addition to handheld cell phone use, drivers also cannot email, watch videos, or take videos while driving. However, drivers can still use GPS devices or dash navigation, provided they are not constantly pushing buttons or looking at the navigation to use it. If drivers are “legally parked,” they can use their phones or electronic devices however they wish. Legally parked means the car is fully in park and sitting in a legal parking space. It does not include stops at lights or stops in traffic.
Drivers will have a short grace period when the law takes effect, after which fines begin at $50 for the first offense.
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